Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Thrashor figure from 8-Bit Zombie

At the end of July, well known 80s nostalgia website 8-Bit Zombie debuted their Summer releases. Those not familiar with 8-Bit Zombie should really go check them out; the site is full of original artwork plastered on all kinds of merchandise from t-shirts to stickers and hats and posters. Think of it and they've probably made a joke on it; Nintendo, cartoons like Thundercats, GI Joe and He-Man, kitschy cult movies and TV shows. They even parodied Garbage Pail Kids, which is something like a parody within a parody inception bullshit that makes my head hurt just trying to figure out that equation. Anyways, the guys at 8-Bit Zombie have always been have always been on my watch list since they were mentioned on x-entertainment about a year ago. Since then the artwork done by the guys has had my full attention, this is the kind of thing I can get in deep with because I love all the stupid stuff from the 80s with a strange passion. It's somewhere between love-hate and snuggle fuck if I had to verbalize my infatuation with that era.

Since following them on the social media feeds, I found out they were making a limited edition action figure. With everything else I loved about their site I knew I'd have to buy one when the first pictures showed up. Thrashor, based on their t-shirt design from the previous summer had been realised as a legit fully sculpted figure. What's Thrashor? Thrashor is a He-Man-esque knock off designed in true 8-Bit Zombie fashion. Snapback hat, blue jeans vest, high tops with mid calf socks, Nintendo Power Glove on the right hand complete with He-Man pageboy hairstyle encompassing his zombie facial features and Masters of the Universe loincloth this toy was sure to be a big hit in my mind. I know I got up an hour before it was scheduled to drop and I hadn't done this in years, I don't get up early for internet exclusives but I had set my mind on getting this toy come hell or high water.

I refreshed the page till he popped up and in retrospect I feel like I should have bought a second one because it's so rad. I must have been there at the right time, the first run is limited to 50 pieces and mine is number 4 of 50 (my buddy one county north of me got number 5) and when it arrived I felt like a kid, no joke. I hadn't anticipated the arrival of a new toy like this in forever, the box was stamped all over with previous designs from 8-Bit Zombie, images like My Pet Monster and Madballs with the Power Glove and Ruppies from Legend of Zelda. Inside Thrashor lay inside of a poly-bag filled with stickers and a sharp looking logo card. Under Thrashor was another little baggie with a handful of more stickers, 80s trading cards, 3 8-Bit Zombie buttons and a red Buffalo Man from M.U.S.C.L.E. Thrashor wasn't going to last long being mint in package, toys were meant to be opened and opening is exactly what was going to fucking happen.

Freed from his baggie, Thrashor stands 5 inches tall and from what I can tell is made in two parts and joined at the waist. He's a very pleasing color, a sickly putrid slime green that you would see on an early Nickelodeon game show before they started to suck. There's no articulation but if you're a crafty motherfucker you can find places to separate the figure and make him move with a little ingenuity. He comes with a scaled skateboard in the same awesome green color with a really bad ass looking 8-bit Skeletor skull and crossbones motif. The sculpt is just this side of totally amazing and the price was 100% right. Thrashor retails for around $50 which is a steal for an art toy like this, most art toys start at $90 and get progressively more expensive. I always been at those crossroads when getting into designer toys, I love some of these great designs from artist I admire but I can't possibly afford to toy hunt for vintage toys and buy their stuff too. I think it's just great because we have aspirations of creating our own toy and it proves they can be made affordable enough that everyone has a chance at them.

 more pictures here from your friends at Raging Nerdgasm   <----click that!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Batman Unlimited: The Dark Knight Returns Batman by Mattel

Batman Unlimited has been an interesting line from the seemingly flailing Mattel DC Universe series. Admittedly the DC Universe 6 inch figures were doing very well from what I could tell. Figures were flying off the shelves and seemed like they were out with a new series every few months. The beginning of the end was the Matty Collector DC Club Infinite Earths subscription. Same price per figure in the store plus shipping and no build-a-figure piece. Granted the line did produce a Metron with his chair and Monsieur Mallah with the Brain but we also got a weak Golden Age Flash and pathetic Poison Ivy. Anyways, with DC Universe being a thing of the past and Club Infinite Earths on the verge of being shut down, Mattel produced the Batman Unlimited series to keep fans involved till the '66 Batman classics line hits shelves later this summer.

Through the Batman Unlimited line we've gotten some stellar figures. A pretty good line up of Injustice: God's Among Us video game based figures, "Kenner Super Powers" influenced Penguin, Planet X Batman and Earth 43 Batman (Crimson Mist Vampire). But the stand out figure from the line is by far the Dark Knight Returns Batman. I'll be the first to admit I love the sculpting on most of the DC Direct figures but sometimes the play value suffers from the lack of articulation. The newer Batman: Arkham City figures from DC Direct and some of the larger "Deluxe" figures are sporting more impressive articulation though so don't count them out yet. The Dark Knight Returns Batman though was a figure people were speculating on for a while now, especially with the fact DC and Masters of the Universe are shared brands of Mattel. The over-muscular body of the He-Man figures lends itself very well to the aging Bruce Wayne from my favorite Frank Miller Batman book.

The Mattel Dark Knight Rises Batman sports your average Masters of the Universe Classics articulation (swivel/pivot at the neck, shoulders and hips. swivel at the waist, wrists and top of the bicep and pivot at the ankles, knees and elbows.) The sculpt is from none other than Mattel's go to guys for epic toys, the Four Horsemen. It's apparent all over the figure from the detail on the utility belt, folds in the costume's gloves, the top scallop of the boots and Batman's grim and grissled expression. The figure comes packaged with a lonely batarang but for a series that's usually devoid of accessories it's an OK throw in.

 There's only a few complaints in my mind. The cape is made of a softer plastic / vinyl but it has such a stiff look to it. The cape does not retain any poses, it looks like Alfred over starched when doing the laundry. The batarang is just this thin sliver of bat-shaped plastic that is just kind of lost in Batman's giant hands. Not sure what could have been done to make it better but it just feels like the figure could have done without the batarang altogether. My last complaint is with the bat symbol on his chest. I know it costs more to put additional sculpting on a figure but I was hoping for the bat symbol to be raised or have some kind of relief to it. My complaints are small and damn near unnoticeable, all in all I give the figure a solid 4 1/2 stars. Don't hesitate grabbing this figure, it's available for decent prices on Amazon and Big Bad Toy Store (roughly $18 and that's not bad considering it's $15 at

Friday, August 16, 2013

RNG Anime Review - Last Exile

by: Ana Bruja-Khayos

The first time I heard of Last Exile is was almost 8 years ago.  At the time I used to work for several studios and worked 16 hours day everyday and didn’t take breaks simply because I could not afford too. My friend Matt would keep an eye on me and make sure I didn’t work my self to death along with my friends Jeremy and Felice.  Back then, it  was the era of high hope for the 3D industry.  It was starting to become more affordable for studios to create 3D graphics and it was easily being implemented on everything from commercials, tv series, animated series, and film.  Great times... great times...

My friend Matt lent me his box set of Last Exile and said it was good.  So I took him on his offer and watched the series during the in between few moments of down time I had.  The box set had a picture of two children on a vehicle of some sort painted with great earthy tones that added to the steampunk look many of us have learned to love.  It made the corner of my mouth curl up since the the other steampunk material I’ve ever enjoyed at the time was Disney’s the Rocketeer.

About the show

As the series opens up, you see the same two young kids on the box set name Claus Valca and Lavie Head flying what you quickly come to learn is a vanship.  Their job as sky couriers is the most reliable and fastest form of communication followed by the courier pigeon.  Each job they pick up in mid air comes with different danger rating.  The higher the rating the more dangerous it is but the better it paid. Other ways these kids would pass the time is to race their vanship against other pilots and dream about following their fathers footsteps by going to the Grand Stream and cross over.

Claus and Lavie live a very average existence in this world.  You get the sense that these two young kids have a been through alot together in their young lives and have deep bond of family. Their daily life is simply full of hard work and barely getting by with little money, some food and low quality water.  Their world is currently suffering from a major division between governments fighting with giant warships and  even higher power known as the Gill. As these war are happening, Claus and Lavie stumble upon a dangerous mission to protect a little girl called Al.  She seems to be of great importance and simply holds the key to discovering what Exile really is. 

With Al as their cargo they go beyond their borders to discover a whole new world where the battle is real on a day to day basis. Alongside the Captain and the crew of the Silvana, Clause and Lavi find themselves fighting to bring down the evil force oppressing most of the word called the Gill all while protecting Al and learning about themselves, the value of their relationship, what is truly important to them.

About Last Exile

Last exile is one of the those series that if I understand correctly it was not a manga first developed into a series.  The manga was developed much later on.

Gonzo Studios compiled an experienced crew that had a unique history for this project.  Director Kichi Chiira, production designer Mahior Meeda, and character designer Range Murat had worked together in one of the first CG anime series produced called Blue Submarine No. 6. With all the FX needed for the show you can see why they were a unique fit for this series.  The 26 episode show Last Exile first aired in April 7,2013 till September 29,2013.  The show was so popular a few months after it first aired it was dubbed in English and distribute in Europe where it also became very popular.

After 9 years from it’s original day view, Last Exile was brought back in both Manga style and in another short anime series called Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing.  The manga was launch on 2011 and is still ongoing today, however the anime series aired from October 15, 2011 to March 23, 2012 and is now dubbed in English as well.  Fam, the Silver Wing has the same director from the original series which make me very excited about seeing the new series.  There is another Manga series being produced under the name Last Exile and that is Last Exile: Travelers from the Hourglass.  The series was also started in 2011 and is still ongoing today.

Last Exile: Fam, the Silver Wing

Final thoughts

Last Exile is a show that in my book goes into the classic list. The world has a 1900’s to 1920’s look to it with hints of Art Deco Movement implemente in some of decor of the ships, vehicles, and some of their structures. It is visually pleasing and is great series to watch.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Stink Egg Known as Cartoon Networks - Robotomy

by: Ana Bruja-Khayos

As I’m navigating my way through my Netflix account I often find myself watching stuff I’ve never seen before.  Some of the times it is a very good experience but some of the time it is just not a great experience.  Robotomy was one of those series that I vaguely remember seeing ads for back when I had cable but I also remember it being gone just as quickly as it appeared. 
At the time I thought the art style was interesting but it was nothing that I wanted to watch until now.

The first thing that I noticed is that the series was incredibly short.  It was only 10 episodes compared to the standard 13 or 22 episode per season I’m used to seeing.  That got me thinking... ok what do I have to lose?  Put it on the background and is only going to be on for about 4 ½ to 5 hours tops. What could possibly go wrong with this?

Oh boy...

The show follows these two robots that are in robot high school a name.... you know what who cares.  In this world being a heinous evil robot is the norm, while being nice is completely off pudding.  While you follow Thrasher and Blastus through the school you will be shown incredibly odd and at unrelatable situations that simply fall flat and are simply not funny.  As you watch the show you get the sense that just like it’s main characters it was trying too hard to be the next big thing and simply filled the show with stupid unfunny fart jokes, and imagery that only Ah!!! Real Monsters could have pulled off back in the day.  Both the main cast and secondary characters have very 2D personalities like school princess, jock, nerd that have a very cliche fell to them.  After the first 3 episode I simply blurred out the show and it was just moving pictures with noise.

I’m sure someone out there likes the show, but is just not me. If you like it, let me know in the comments. Maybe I’m missing something, where’s the jokes?

About the Show
Seeing how bad the show was got me thinking what happened here.  How did this get made and why.  It turns out the show was created after a long losing streak of rejected production ideas.  The show was in and off production for a few years due to changing management, and finally was finished in 2009 pushed out to be aired in 2010. Needless to say it didn’t go well. The show only lasted a measly 4 months on the air before it was cancelled.  The show is the shortest running Cartoon Network original series along with the least episodes ever made by them.  The show was so bad it was finally also completely removed from the CN website around 2011 as a listed show.  I’ve rarely seen any network do that.  Talk about sweeping it under the rug.

What really made me sad is that this show was directed by Christy Karacas who is known for his other project Superjail.  I love Superjail.  All in all you can’t win them all and this is one of those shows best left forgotten.

Final Thoughts
Only watch if you are severely intoxicated and looking to kill brain cells.  Best recommendation is to skip it completely. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Couch Day Anime - "Desert Punk" Review

By: Ana Bruja-Khayos

Ah Netflix... what would I do without you.  If you are like me and work behind a computer all day you probably run into the problem that you must have either music or a video you have seen tons of times playing in the background in order to make the time more bearable. In this line of work I often find myself looking for new series to watch.  I will say that I’ve always been a Disney kid but in the recent years I’ve been migrating to more and more anime. Not because I love the art style but simply I love to watch giant robots and more adult based stories.  Something Disney just can’t do or simply are not willing to do anymore.  So I realy on my Netflix to suggest something to watch.  Low and behold here comes “Desert Punk”

Desert Punk is what I like to call “couch day anime”.  Meaning you can literally watch the entire series in one day just slacking on the couch and you don’t feel unsatisfied when you are done. The series only has 24 episodes, but you will laugh you buns off.

The Story

When I first saw the intro of the show I was worried that I might have started watching something that looked like Power Rangers. There’s nothing wrong with Power Rangers but I simply was not in the mood to watch people fight in monster costumes. The intro was gritty and looked like something that a college film student made but it really added to charm and I’m sure it helped cut down cost on the animation budget.  The music is catchy and after awhile you find yourself humming it as you continue to watch the show.

The story takes place in the very distant future after a horrible catastrophe left most of the humans roaming around planet full of sand and little water.  Our lead character is a reflection of the harsh conditions people face in this world.  A young teen boy name Kanta Mizuno, has earned the nickname of “The Desert Demon” but his reputation follows him under the name of mercenary “Desert Punk”.  Just like many others he must wear heat protection suites, carry weapons, and supplies not only to survive but to do his job as a mercenary.  The ruthless desert has truly pushes people of all ages to do whatever needs to be done in order to survive including stealing, blackmailing, double crossing and killing friends, family, and associates.  No one can be trusted, not even toddlers.

Desert Punk is involve with several other rivals mercenaries for hire in the area such as The Machine Gun Brothers, and Rain Spider.  Each group very deadly and merciless but they all untruthfully rely on each other when things get tough.  Just like most young boys Desert Punk really doesn’t have any long term goals since he lives in a world where you can die at any moment, however is very intelligent and is often underestimated which becomes his greatest and deadliest weapon in the harsh desert.  His goals are simple “guns”,”food”, and  “chicks with big tits”.  The first two is not so bad but the third one gets him in a world of trouble when he meets another mercenary known as Junko Asagiri, followed by a little girl name Kosuna who quickly becomes his future apprentice.  Between Junko’s tit’s and Kosuna’s miss haps Desert Punk goes through some funny and hard scenarios that make this show so funny.  

Story Origins

At the time the 13 volume manga was written and illustrated by Usune Mastoshi back in 1997.  His previous manga work involved other works such as “Killer Boy” (1987), “Metal Box”(1989), and “Eater” (1991).  The series was produced by Gonzo Studios and directed by Takayuki Inagaki who has an extensive resume as a director, assistant director, animator, storyboard artist, key animator in series such as “Naruto”, “Space Travelers”,  and “ Princess Tutu” to name a few. The series originally ran October 4th,  2004 to March 30th, 2005 and was mainly aimed at Seime (young men of 18-30) demographic.

Final thoughts

All in all this was a very fun series, however I would not show this to young children and definitely not to a hard core feminist since the main focus of the main character is chasing after women like a horny dog chasing after meat.  Hey the guys is around 14, what do most teen boys think about around that age... exactly. All in all the show was full of action, funny moments, and twist and turns that will keep you entertained for the entire 24 episode run.  All in all this is a must re-watch in my book and will recommend to others to watch.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

DC Direct Solomon Grundy from Arkham Asylum

Normally I don't buy DC Direct figures. I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into a sculpt and the precision of the paint applications, I can even admire the fact they'll tackle a non-mainstream character the fans are asking for but it's not my cup of tea. I'm not much for newer figures, my real passion is older figures from the 80s and 90s but every so often a newer toy grabs my attention. For instance, the PlayArts Kai figures are fantastic and I could go broke two times over buying all the NECA figures I like. Hell, sometimes I even go all in on Marvel Select figures that appeal to me. I'm also a reviewer that believes in giving credit where credit is due and shaming other toy lines for producing crappy figures (Jazwares and Mattel, I'm looking at you). Needless to say, a trip to my local comic shop (Heroes' Haven) introduced me to a figure I had no idea I wanted until I saw it for myself.

(more pictures here)

I have a good relationship with my local comic shop, they reblog my stuff and I reblog theirs. Toys especially; PlayArts, DC Direct, Marvel Select, MAFEX, Hot Toys, ETC. Wednesday being new release day had some interesting stuff, restocks on PlayArts Kai Dark Knight Returns Batman and Robin from Arkham City, newly released DC Direct 3 3/4 inch two packs, PlayArts Kai Poison Ivy and DC Direct Solomon Grundy. In the Twitter picture Grundy just looked like an 8 inch figure, nothing impressive. But I'll be damned if that figure wasn't 13 inches tall and weighed as much as a cinder block (maybe a couple of bricks, it's heavy as something I'm no scientist)! DC Direct had gotten some shit for shoddy craftsmanship on Titan Joker and Killer Croc, both figures were known for falling apart just minutes after getting them out of the package. Worst thing about buying these figures, you have little to no recourse getting a replacement or a swap out. Some comic shops function on no returns or Flying Spaghetti Monster help you if you picked it up at a convention and have to deal with DC Direct directly. They made good on quite a few replacements but even those replacements were plagued with the same issues. But, this figure is a solid hunk of plastic, so that means it's sturdier right?

(even more pictures here)

Solomon Grundy stands an impressive and intimidating 13 inches tall from the bottoms of his rotten feet to the top his grungy hair. Holding the figure is really pleasing, the figure retails for $90 and he's heavier than a gallon of milk and solid as a brick. The joints ratchet into place which is seriously important because he's definitely a little top heavy. The paint job is perfect, it's dead on to his video game counterpart. Best part of the paint job is the eyes, they really captured that undead marbled glaze to his eyeballs. Just like in the video game, Grundy has a removable chest piece revealing a very grossly accurate reproduction of Grundy's guts. The entire chest cavity has a great sickly red sheen to it and great shading showing off the heart and other organs exposed. For a $90 figure I'm rating this figure at a solid 8.5 to 9 out of 10. I usually don't feel expensive figures need a review, either I think they are overpriced or like a Hot Toys figure they sell themselves but this was the exception for sure. If your interested in picking up this big bastard, hit up your local comic shops, I don't think he's going to hang around for long.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Hidden Gem known as "Dan Vs." Animated TV Show

By Ana Bruja-Khayos

If you are like me you probably no longer have cable service and have switch to mainly online streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon.  So unless it gets a lot of internet over hype you have no idea what is going on in the world of Cable TV.  This is what happened to me when it came to show “Dan Vs.” .  Normally I have a very good idea of past cartoon shows and upcoming cartoons shows since I’ve had to work in the world of animation and graphics for almost a decade now. However “Dan Vs”. must have fallen between the cracks because I never heard anybody talk about the show nor did I know that many people that watch the HUB except for people that loved “My Little Pony” or “Transformers Prime”.

I stumbled upon the show as I was wondering the isle of Movie Stop box set sections. Shove between top well know show was “Dan Vs.”  The case was a nice silvery color with a picture of a very angry looking character I could assume was Dan.  I asked the store employee if he knew anything about the show and sadly he did not.  It was a big risk to take by buying a box set nobody knew anything about but for $4 for the entire season 1 I had nothing to lose.

About the show.

The show follows a short guy called Dan. Dan suffers from severe anger issues to say the least. He’s very intelligent but his intelligence is shadowed by his paranoia and obsession with basic and mundane things that don’t make any sense to most ordinary people.  His anger is mainly triggered by some mesele personal experiences, or if something was done to his pinto car.

Dan is accompanied by his childhood friend Chris who is not stupid but he simply a laid back guy who likes to eat.  At this point in Chris life he is married to woman name Elise that is the total opposite of Chris. She’s very very smart but comes with a secret live as an undercover government field agent.  There’s always this strange dynamic and multiple relationships layers that comes with this trio.  Dan just want to have Chris do everything he says regardless of how absurd it is and to leave Elise; Elise loves Chris regardless of how simple he is and really wishes he get’s a new best friends; and Chris just wants everybody to get along, on top of enjoying time with Elise and food.

The Flash or Toon Boom base show will have you at times scratching your head but it does come with many witty moments that will make you grin eye to eye.  So far my favorite episode is Dan Vs. Stupidity.  If you love Idiocracy you will love this episode as well. Through the show, Dan has crazy rivals like Dan Vs.: New Mexico, The Wolf-Man, The Dentist, The Ninja, Animal Shelter, Canada, Traffic, Dinner Theater, Baseball, Salvation Armed Forces, Beach, George Washington, Technology, Barber, Art, Elise’s Parents, Fancy Restaurant, Dan, Family Camping Trip, Brugerphile, Magicians, Lemonade Stand Gang, Thanksgiving, Mall Santa, Neighbors, Dancing, Bank, Monster Under the Bed, Golf, … the list goes on for another season and half.

The show also comes with a great secondary cast that makes the show even funnier and even more relatable at times.  Characters like Mr. Mubels, Elise’s Parents, Crunchy, and Ninja Dave that remind you of people  in your life or people you have meet in your life.

The Production, Cast and Crew.

The show was created by Dan Mandel and Chris Pearson. At the moment they are not very well known for their work but in time I’m sure they will do fine.  The show was produce by Film Roman Productions - “a starz company” (that worked on 2D and 3D shows like the Simpsons, King of the Hill, Avengers, Beavis and Butthead, Kugn Fu Panda), The Hatchery (that worked on Young Blades, Care Bares, and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour), and was distributed by the Anchor Bay Entertainment and The HUB.

Their main cast include voice actors like Curtis Armstrong who worked on projects such as Locker 13, Supernatural, American Dad, New Girl, Bones, Reaper, Smokin’ Aces, and Ray to name a few.  Dave Foley as Chris who worked on projects such as Monster University, Robot Chicken, Eureka, Monster Brawl, The Batman, Cars, Employee of the Month, Monkeybone, Toy Story 2, Bug’s Life.. the list goes on. Finally Elise is played by Paget Brewster who worked on projects such as Criminal Minds, Venture Brothers, Modern Family, American Dad, King of the Hill, Harvey Birdman, and yes even 1998 Ghost Cop.

Final Thoughts.

Dan Vs. is one of those show that should be experience at least once.  I personally love watching the show several times over because they touch on subject matters that I at times encounter and Dan simply yells out loud what I wish I could say my self. Believe it or now the show has ran for 3 seasons now, so someone out there is watching it but for whatever reason is not picking up enough buzz behind it.  The show was rated PG and was aimed at kids to tween demographic by airing on the HUB when it should be aimed at the teen to young adult demographic like Adult Swim. I personally think that the fall of the show is simply that they miss their demographic and they are not streaming the show on Netflix which is still very popular with younger and more modern adults looking to trend away from high cost of cable. But you can catch season 01 and 02 on Hulu Plus if you can withstand the all the adds they shove in your paid subscription.  But that is just my opinion take it as you will.

But all in all I give they show 4 out of 5 stars. I love it but it will have make a banging 4th season to beat Gargoyles, Exo Squad, and Batman the Animated series out of my top 3 animated series.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Strange Circumstances Regarding the Future War and the man/bull/robot Kromium

The Future War is a strange time. It was the 90s, Kenner was making tons of money with toys based off of R rated movie franchises and while they had done what they could to extend the lifespan of Predator and Aliens but were stuck between a rock and a hard place with how to prolong the Terminator's shelf life. Terminator 2 was pretty cut and dry at the end, the T-800 had successfully stopped Judgement Day by eliminating the T-1000 and then doing away with himself and the artifacts from the first Terminator movie. But Judgement Day is not over! It would be 12 years later that we would learn that Judgement Day is just as unstoppable as the concept of death and taxes, it's coming and all you can do is push it back. So, lets say you are the creative minds at Hasbro and you are trying to create a way to push Terminator action figures past the concepts of Secret Weapon T-800 (the secret is his face and chest rip off the expose a crotch cannon), glowing T-800 endo-skeleton, Power Claw T-800 and blast apart T-1000 (that one is actually cool so strike that comment)? You come up with a flashy series known only as the Future War, AKA: a good excuse to repaint five figures and repurpose a cancelled Chuck Norris Karate Commando figure.

This is the Future War, a strange time that somehow still exsists past the time of the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day. These are the adventures of the friendly T-800 fighting the likes of bronzed endo-skeletons, bondage suited man / machine hybrids and a strange man/bull/robots. I'm not one to be overly critical but you can tell they sort of pulled this idea out of their ass. If the line had more than 2 totally new figures I think we all would have bought into the hype of the Future War but this wasn't happening. It must have left it's mark though, a novel was written and released back in 2003 titled T2: the Future War but after scrolling through it I see no mention of Cyber-Grip or Kromium. I don't think it was popular enough to get an Oprah book club sticker but I think mention of either of those two characters would have given it a shot at a nomination. I don't own it personally but a local book shop had it in the 5 for a $1 junk novel box, not worth the 20 cents to bring it home.

While Cyber-Grip was a repurposed prototype from an unproduced series 2 of Chuck Norris Karate Commandos, Kromium was a full new original figure. Boy is it original. I like it because it looks like what a kid would design if you told him or her to draw a very scary robot. Skull face, bull horns, flat armored shoulder pads, chest and torso that is supposed to give the illusion of being wider than the basic figures, anti-tank shoulder spikes, hip mounted double barrell machine guns, wider and thicker arms and legs than your average T-800 and the whole damn toy gets bigger with the push of a button and a tug at the figure's hands and feet. Kromium stands right at 5 inches in his primary form but extends to 6 inches in a quick transformation. The design evokes a general feeling of "So this is what the devil would look like if he was a robot." You would have to wager that if Kromium was a sentient robot he would wonder why his creator hated him enough to make him a veritable Minotaur of the Future War.

The sculpt on the head is what gets me, it's almost too good. I have an admitted soft spot for skeleton action figures, it's probably why I think I own a few of this figure. The rest of the toy outside of the head and hip mounted machine guns is kind of lost on me. I know when this was new I was all about owning it but it really does show what kind of inspired designs conqueored at Kenner in the 90s. The Aliens series had xenomorphs based on gorillas and crabs, the Predators hailed from lava planets and had spiked tails that flung discs across a living room with ease and Terminator 2 had Kromium. Enough said, the figure is still fairly cool even though it's silly by today's standards. Maybe if I'm lucky enough, NECA will recreate Kromium in their Terminator line up. And by "lucky enough" I mean "pester and annoy them".